Banbridge Town couldn’t quite manage their second cup upset of the season as they went down 2-0 at Limavady United on Saturday.
The Roesiders netted both goals in a devastating second half to ensure they didn’t suffer the same fate as PSNI, who Town ousted from the League Cup earlier this month.
It brings Town’s Irish Cup run to premature end. The club usually haven’t even started their campaign at this stage but the new structure mean it’s over for another year in the very first round.
Manager Stuart King made three changes from last week’s defeat to Newington. Stuart Thompson replaced the suspended Stephen Acheson and with striker Ashley Gregg still injured, Neil Clydesdale came in for Adam Pedlow, who took his place on the substitute’s bench. In midfield, Damian McParland replaced Matthew McCartan.
The home team started brightly and forced their first save when Cairnduff got down to his right on 20 minutes.
Town’s first effort of note came three minutes later when full back Wilson intercepted a cross field pass and drove forward. His pass found Clydesdale on the edge of the box but the subsequent shot went over.
In the 38th minute Town escaped when Hume headed wide after a dangerous cross by McCready.
Banbridge had their best moment of the half when, in the 43rd minute, Downey produced some sublime skill in the box to create a shooting opportunity for himself only for home keeper Wells to beat away. The home side responded immediately and right on half time Cairnduff had to be alert to save from McFadden.
Town’s best laid plans for the second half were undone within seconds of the restart as Johnny Watt headed home a corner for the hosts.
Town disputed the goal, alleging that the ball had not crossed the line but referee Mr Gallagher was perfectly placed to award the score.
Town tried to respond quickly and were offered a half chance but Clydesdale shot wide after Downey had headed on. Limavady began to look more dangerous in attack and Cairnduff had to make a wonder save from close ranger to deny a McCready header.
Town responded again and in the 65th minute Lavery’s excellent pass found Downey who lobbed agonisingly.
Manager King made two subsitutions in the 71st minute with Ryan Gourley replacing McParland and Andrew Wilson coming on for the tiring Clydesdale.
Wilson was in action immediately as he drove down the right after Devlin and Greene had broken up an attack. Sadly, Town lost Greene who was forced off with an injury and had to be replaced by Jordan Hayes.
Limavady scored a hotly disputed seconded goal in the 78th minute. Town felt Lavery had been fouled in the centre circle but play was allowed to continue and Owens was put through to slam home.
TOWN: Cairnduff, J Wilson, Thompson, Greene (Hayes 72), Devlin, McCreanor, McParland (Gourley 71), Lavery, Moffatt, Clydesdale (A Wilson 71), Downey.
Unused Subs: McCartan, Pedlow.
Town’s Mascot: Leo McFadden.